Confessions of a Shopaholic: Zara Sale!!

So, for those of you who are actively searching for the next SALE or the latest bargains, please direct your attention to ZARA this week! Their SALE actually started 2 weeks ago, however I never shop Zara Sale within the first week because (although the pickins might be fresh) the inventory doesn’t get priced LOWEST until the last few weeks of the sale. The way Zara operates is unlike many other retailers. They hardly ever go on SALE. In fact, their sales are only twice a year: once in Winter (after Christmas) and once in Summer (always late June/early July). They have these very unique retailing operations – they change over their inventory extremely QUICKLY. So for those of you who’ve visited a Zara, saw something SO cute and thought you would come back in 2 weeks and still see it there – it often doesn’t work like that. Once Zara is sold out of a certain item, it doesn’t come back. They refresh the store with brand new inventory to keep the customer guessing.

Anyway, if you live near a location, now’s the time to stop by. They’re in the final weeks of summer SALE and they have amazing dresses for $20-$50, Boyfriend blazers under $40, and much more. Get it while you can because they won’t be on SALE again till Christmas!!

Confessions of a Shopaholic: The Brooklyn Flea

This past Saturday I took the opportunity to spend the afternoon in Fort Greene. It is literally my new favorite spot to hangout in Brooklyn. Anyway, my main motivation for paying this part of the city across the bridge a visit, was to preview what’s known as the Brooklyn Flea. It goes on every weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Saturdays it’s in Fort Greene and on Sundays they move under the Brooklyn Bridge. Vendors are there between 10am and 5pm on Saturdays, 11-6 on Sundays. For those who’ve never been, the Brooklyn Flea is an incredible outdoor market of cool vintage: clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture and of course art!

While it was my first time at the Brooklyn Flea, I felt so at-home, like I was a veteran. If you don’t know already, shopping for vintage is one of my favorite activities – so you can imagine my excitement when I’m surrounded by it at every corner. I was engulfed, within the 4 gates of this school yard at Lafayette & Cleremont in an enchanting mélange of handmade leather goods, diamond-encrusted brooches from the 50’s, vintage Chanel ballet flats, and enough patterned dresses to make a quilt that covers the entire state of NY.

And let’s not even mention the wonderfully aromatic scents of Mediterranean food and specialty hot dogs (I had one topped with sweet ketchup, jalapeño mustard and crushed potato chips…sounds nasty but I kid you not, SO good – trust).

Anyway, the Brooklyn Flea was an amazing experience. Not to mention, Fort Greene is just a great neighborhood to get lost in. Here were a few of my favorite stops along the Brooklyn Flea roadmap:

Dulcinée NYC

This booth had a great collection of patterned chiffon dresses and other high-end designer vintage. Although on the pricier side, every item looked to be handpicked for perfection. All of the items were signature statement pieces for the vintage-lover’s closet. Check them out at DulcineNYC

Joan Vanhees

The next booth I went to was one my favorites. Ms. Joan Vanhees was full of joy and vibrantly dressed in color as I made my rounds “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” at every piece on her clothing rack. And let’s not forget the AMAZING sequined tops, 40’s-style heels and snakeskin bags:

Be sure to stop by Ms. Joan’s booth if you happen to visit the Brooklyn Flea sometime soon.

Treasures & Pleasures

What a fitting name! This booth was chock full of treasures and guilty pleasures…please believe. The owners were so friendly and extremely informative about exactly where every piece originated. Although the pieces cost a pretty penny, they’re quality was definitely unparalleled. My favorites were their nautical-inspired pieces:

They also have an Egyptian-inspired showcase going on:

Check them out at the Brooklyn Flea or their website here

Imani Miller – Creations By Faith

So I’m a huge fan of handmade, ethnic-inspired jewelry. I’m also a huge supporter of black artists, designers, jewelry-makers, etc. So I had to shout out Ms,. Imani Miller’s designs. Her stuff is carefully crafted and demurely appealing. She makes everything by hand. For more of her creations, check out her site.

Amaya Designs

Sitting directly across from Imani Miller was a lady by the name of Stacey. All of her skillfully-made jewelry was bold, bright and had such flavor to it. I especially love the necklace pictured above. The precious stones, the beading…beautiful. Find more of Amaya Designs here.

Martine’s Dream

Ms. Debbie Hardy is the owner of this amazing booth at the Brooklyn Flea. Inside her fabric-covered booth was a vast array of ethnic print dresses and dashikis in the MOST amazing colors. It made me happy just paying Ms. Debbie a visit. When I walked over she was giving her styling advice to a potential customer/friend. Don’t pass by the Flea without paying her a visit.

Planet Clare Inc.

If you’re into well-crafted, fine jewelry – please pay Koray Avci a visit at his booth. The jewelry was impeccable. And for all my PENN friends, he’s based in Philly Phillaay! You can find him on South Street selling his creative designs. Contact him at KorayAvci@hotmail.com for more info

Angels & Warriors Vintage

This was my last stop on the Brooklyn Flea treasure hunt. The owner of this booth is Maria Vallos and she sells her creative pickins every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea. Her stuff was amazing. I fell in love with her leather goods and retro printed scarves:

To check out the schedule and a few other vendors not featured here, check the site for the Brooklyn Flea: click here

Dawn Richards: New Cut. New Swag?

Ms. Dawn Richards, former Danity Kane member recently shot a photoshoot for Honey Magazine and I must say her new haircut has her looking fiercer than usual:

Yall know I love a good black blazer and some statement jewelry…

Love the cut

I wish the shoes were in focus…they look fierce

Find more photos from this shoot at Honey Magazine.

Artist Spotlight: Derek Blanks

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Derek Blanks, he’s most famous for his “alter-ego” photography. He takes multiple pictures of select celebrities and then superimposes the images next to each other. For those avid ANTM fans, they did a photoshoot like this one in Season 3, where the girls had to play 2 different personalities. Anyway, here’s some of his work:

Chrissette Michelle meets herself

Eva Pigford

Kim Porter & the twins

Amerie and her string puppets

Well, Derek Blanks recently did a racy photoshoot with former Danity Kane member Dawn Richards and Day 26 member Que. It’s interesting, to say the least:

Not sure how I feel about these Dawn & Que pics…Fierce or Foolish?

To check out more of Derek Blanks visit his site here. He’s very talented.

Rising Style Icon: Letoya Luckett

Ever since I was a crazed Destiny’s Child fan, I have always admired and adored Beyonce the most. However, when it came down to great looks, I’ve always secretly believed Letoya was the prettiest. Now that Letoya Luckett is back on the radar as a solo artist, her true style and great looks are really getting noticed. Though she might be an EX-Destiny member, she has risen from being an outcast off the island of “Destiny” to a Rising Style Icon on my radar..

At the Grammy’s in February. This outfit put her back on the radar for me.

This amazing statement necklace takes the conservative neckline to new heights. It took me a while to warm up to this snakeskin envelope clutch, but because of the simplicity of the dress, I’ll let her get away with it. Love the color of this dress! Not a fan of the pumps, though.

Ms. Luckett sported this bedazzled minidress look at the BET Awards on June 28th. Risque but not too much. The shoes are interesting. I think I might have preferred some diamond-studded stilettos but I’ll let these metallic platforms rock!

This dress/statement-necklace pair really took it there for me. When I saw her go on stage and present in this look, I was immediately drawn to the layered chainlink crystal chains. With a neutral color like this one, you need something extra to make it POP. So, the necklaces were definitely a good choice. Again, not a fan of the shoes! I don’t know, maybe its her ankles that throw things off for me?? Rule of thumb for those with skinny, barely-there ankles, don’t wear shoes that straddle them – especially not platform because they EMPHASIZE the slimness in the ankle.

Although she hasn’t made the best shoe choices, I applaud Letoya for showing up and showing out at these Awards shows. I mean that’s why she’s a “Rising” icon… not quite there yet. But she will be if she keeps up the good work…

Oldies but Goodies

Here’s another one for you guys. I found this Italian-made green & cognac leather bag at a local thrift store. I think it’s adorable. Just the right size for all your daily summer goods, simple enough to wear with a retro-inspired dress or a t-shirt & jeans. Gotta love good vintage. My absolute love for buying vintage has inspired me to start a small shop. Check out LoveBrownSugar Vintage at Etsy for more details. Please feel free to support me! More items coming soon.

Diddy’s White Party: Glamour & Ghetto in One Place

As some of you may know, P.Diddy hosted his annual White Party in the Hamptons this past 4th of July weekend. Well, as expected, it was a star-studded event packed with lots of glamour, a bit of style and a few hot ghetto messes per usual. Peep the infamous countdown to Top 8 Best & Worst:

8. Diggy & Dad – BEST

As an avid fan of Run’s House, I had to give the Simmons boys a quick shout out for steppin’ out FRESH this year. Run is looking very crisp, while still age-appropriate in a clean crisp oxford. While Diggy, keeps it classy in a plain white tee and V-neck knit cardigan with the white-piped Ray Bans…wooo BOY. Can I tell yall how much I LOVE Diggy. A 13-year-old boy that can dress himself flyyer than a man twice his age? A young one after mine own heart…

7. Vanessa Simmons – WORST

Now, as much as I LOVE the Simmons family, not all siblings were created equal….
You would think as a shoe designer that she would be well aware of the widely known fashion faux pas: OVER-ACCESORIZING. Ok so you’re good money with the dress itself – cute. Simple, collared shirtdress, chic. But THEN you wanna add a hat AND shades AND belt AND bag??!

TOO MUCH! Scale back, just a little sweetie…trust me it goes a long way. If I were Vanessa’s stylist, I would’ve done the dress, NO HAT, NO SHADES. And definitely not this gold quilted Marc Jacobs bag from 4 seasons ago…you’re a celebrity now, get an update baby.

6. Nicole Der*******(don’t feel like looking up the spelling) – BEST

I absolutely LOVE the ethereal simplicity with which Ms. Nicole pulled off this look. I think she’s dressed perfectly for the occasion. Simple, clean strapless white dress. Adorable headband with just a touch of white and gold. And then the soft waves set the right mood for the look she was trying to achieve. You see kids, it doesn’t take that much to pull off a look. You just have to stick to the theme and exercise a little restraint. It goes such a long way!

5. Kim Porter – WORST

Speaking of simplicity, Kim Porter surely didn’t take a lesson from that guidebook. I absolutely applaud her for keeping the emphasis on the headgear and toning it down a little with the dress. But no matter how beautiful she is, and how nice the other aspect of her attire are, I can’t let this headband lean & rock…I’m SORRY but TOO MUCH. I’m all about the incorporation of ethnic pieces into wardrobe, but I think this headband could have been reworked a little and possibly tamed down just a FEW strands. Homegirl is looking like she just stepped out of Slumdog Millionaire. I love a good Bollywood, but not at Diddy’s white party. Sorry Kim…

4. Amber Rose – BEST

Though I’m not usually a fan of baring this much skin, with a body like Amber’s – it can certainly be done. What makes this ensemble great is that, although she chose to bare alot of skin out back, she keeps it very elegant with high-neck chiffon in front and she makes sure NOT to overdo it by pairing the skimpy top with flattering skinny white pants and dainty heels. And the face is just clean and glowing, as it should be at an affair like this one. Good job Amber. But where’s Kanye??

3. Cassie – WORST

Cassie, oh Cassie…where do I begin? To start things off, this hairstyle is NOT growing on us! It was bad then and it’s still bad now. Get some tracks sewn to the other half of that bald head and KEEP IT MOVIN…I’m done! Second, this is a white party, NOT a beach party. Take that bikini off under there and try a white underlininng next time? Sheesh…

2. Demi & Ashton – BEST

Who doesn’t love this cute Hollywood couple? They’re both looking chic from head to toe. Demi opted for a very clean, sophisticated look with the slick-back bun, this beautifully textured strapless dress with BANGIN accessories. I’m loving her cuff bracelet with the large white stones..and the SHOES? Do the stanky leg Demi, cuz ur doin the damn thing. And Ashton – how adorable is he, like all the time? He’s looking very classic and well put together in this white suit paired with a simple white tee and shades…very nice, you two.

1. Lil’ Kim – WORST

I mean, was this any surprise?? Sadly enough, this is one of the best outfits I’ve seen Lil’ Kim rocking to date. That still doesn’t take away the fact that it’s trashy and over-the-top. It’s gonna take a little more fabric in that midsection for me to believe Lil’ Kim didn’t cop this from the Stripper/Hoodrat collection on Crenshaw.

Anyone remember when Lil’Kim was black? Oh, had to throw this one in there…Purple star pasties anyone?? Ahh good times with Lil’ Kim…

Sick Site Spotlight: Looklet.com

Flipping through this month’s issue of Lucky Magazine, I stumbled upon an online fashionista’s dream: a website that actually allows you to try different clothes on a model! Anyone remember the days when this could only be done in person? That’s what stylists are for, right? Well, the geniuses who’re responsible for all of today’s wonderful technology have devised another way for us gals to occupy our time. Now, you don’t have to wait for it to come down a runway. You can stick it on the model, when you want and WHERE you want. There’s a feature that allows you to change the backdrop of the scene! Cute huh?

I highly recommend for fun..not so much for shopping UNLESS you have dimensions that match those of the models. I’m still a fan of in-store try on (call me old-fashioned) but for those of you IN LOVE with online shopping – this goes out to you.

Here’s a look I created with a DVF dress and Urban Outfitters necklace…I need to be on this beach:

Try it out for yourself at http://www.looklet.com

Trend Alert: Convertible Chain Shades…FIERCE or Foolish??

Call me a Fashion Forecaster because I saw this one coming long before it was in stores!! I remember it like it was yesterday. It was about a year ago when I saw some old lady wearing her glasses with a nifty little chain around them. Mind you, I hadn’t seen anyone actually wearing glasses with a string around them in AGES. And I turned to my BF and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if someone designed REALLY FLYY glasses with a blinged out chain on ’em?” And who did I mention rockin this first?? Your fashion highness, Mr. Kanye West. Well, low and behold Kanye didn’t rock ’em first BUT his fashion-forward girlfriend Amber Rose was definitely spotted in these vintage Chanel shades on the street not too long ago. And now, if you like dishing $200 + for a pair, you can snag some too:

The dearly beloved Patricia Field is now selling these flashy specs for a hefty $250. If the mass-retailers know what’s good for them, they’ll catch on and start selling these buddies for about $10 a pop. They don’t look that expensive to make. Hell, I might start making them! Anyway, until further notice check http://www.patriciafield.com/sunglasses.aspx to find these.

Sidenote: Please check the first product on the Patricia Fields “Sunglasses”. Why the hell are these call “Ghetto” shades?? I feel like that’s definitely politically incorrect HAHA. And why are the “Ghetto Shades” the CHEAPEST PAIR ON THE PAGE?? I’m mad at that…get it together Patricia.

Ghetto shades though??